Eye Injuries & Emergencies
As primary care providers of eye care, we’re on call 24/7 every day of the year, in case you have an eye injury or other eye emergency.
Life often sends something unexpected your way, and every now and then it aims at your eyes. You’ve probably gotten something stuck in your eye, or maybe you got a case of pink eye, or itchiness caused by an allergic reaction. Whatever it may be, if your eyes and your vision are involved, you want to get taken care of right away.
If you have eye injury or other urgent eye issue, call us immediately, at 603-882-0311.
In order to make sure you recognize – and act on – injuries and symptoms that may indicate you have a potentially vision-threatening eye emergency, here is a list of several of them. If you feel we have left something out, please contact us so we can add it to the list!
These happen all the time, in a huge variety of situations: scratches from babies’ and little kids’ fingernails, from pets, from gardening mishaps, branches hitting you in the eye on a hike or a bike ride… the list is endless. If you get a scratched eye, don’t rub it! Blink, rinse it out with clean water or saline solution (but not redness-relieving eye drops), and come see us as soon as possible.
Sports Eye Injuries
The most common cause of eye injuries among children and young adults are sports-related. Flying balls, errant elbows, the sticks and rackets used in many sports – all of them can cause serious damage to your eyes, and to the occipital bones around them. Cyclists and boarders can also end up with road and trail debris in their eyes, too.
The best way to avoid sports eye injuries is by using eyewear specifically designed for the sport you are playing, and sports eyewear is readily available for prescription lenses. But even while wearing eye protection, if you take a shot to the eye or eye area that results in blurred vision, headaches or temporary vision loss, you should call us right away.
Stuff in Your Eye(s)
Just as with scratches, the list goes on and on… sawdust, beach sand, gardening dirt, grass from your lawnmower or trimmer… even food can sometimes lodge in your eye and resist your efforts to get it out.
Also as with scratches, you should not rub your eye if you get something it – this can cause scratches. Flush you eye with clean, cold water or saline solution and blink away to see if that will solve your problem. It may not, especially if what wound up in your eye got there off end of a high-velocity powered tool.
Don’t take chances if you cannot easily flush a foreign object from your eye – some see us right away!
Conjunctivitis (“Pink Eye”)
Conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye, is an infection or inflammation of the thin, protective membrane that covers the surface of the eyeball and inner surface of the eyelids. Pink eye can be caused by a variety of things and is highly contagious. Symptoms are usually redness in the white of the eye and watery eyes and/or discharge.
While many minor cases improve within two weeks, some can develop into serious corneal inflammation and threaten sight. If you suspect conjunctivitis, make an immediate appointment so one of our doctors can assess the situation and get you on the proper course of treatment.
Flashes & Floaters
Flashes and floaters are both caused by the natural shrinking of the vitreous – the gel-like fluid in your eye – and are usually more common as you age. Flashes are also a common symptom of migraine headaches.
Flashes can appear as bright spots, bursts of light like a camera flash, or jagged and lightning-like. Floaters, or spots, are semi-transparent or cloudy particles that appear as specks of various shapes and sizes, threadlike strands or cobwebs.
In most cases, the occasional eye floater or flash in your vision isn’t something you need to worry about. But if you start to notice a lot more floaters than you’ve experienced in the past or many flashes, you should call us – it could be a sign of a serious vision problem like a detached or torn retina.
Swollen red eyelids can indicate a number of different conditions that may affect your sight. The most common of these is a stye – an infection of a gland in your eyelid, usually a tear gland. Styes often take on the white appearance of a pimple, and left untreated they can become painful, impair your vision, and as the infection spreads, cause fever and other symptoms
Swollen red eyelids can also be an indication of:
- Chalazion, which occurs when an oil gland in the eyelid becomes blocked
- Allergies, including to dust, pollen and make-up and skin care products
- Orbital cellulitis, which is an infection deep in the eyelid and requires aggressive antibiotic treatment
- Blepharitis, a very common condition thought to be the result of poor eyelid hygiene. It is a chronic condition, but its symptoms can be controlled with the proper course of actions following an examination and assessment
If you exhibit symptoms such as swollen or red eyelids, uncontrollable irritation and/or watery eyes, severe pain, blurred or temporary loss of vision, or any of the situations above apply, you should come into see a Focused Eye Care doctor as quickly as possible. We’re always on call, and easy to get to, less than a mile from Exit 5 on the Everett Turnpike / Route 3.